The Royal Family has ‘more important things to worry about’ than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘shocking’ bombshell interview with their friend Oprah Winfrey, Buckingham Palace aides insisted last night as Prince Philip was transferred to a leading cardiac hospital.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, was moved to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London for ‘testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition’ following a two-week stay at King Edward VII Hospital yesterday, just hours after dramatic clips of the Sussexes’ explosive interview were released by a US television network.
Though Buckingham Palace is bracing itself for ‘shocking’ revelations from Meghan and Harry’s interview, aides suggested that the family’s focus was solely on Philip, who had already spent 13 nights in hospital and is expected to remain there until at least the end of the week.
One source told the Telegraph: ‘The family is very worried about him and their thoughts are very much with him rather than this Oprah interview. They have much more important things to worry about.’
Another aide described how there was a ‘significant shift in the mood’ following the Duke’s transfer, telling the Mirror: ‘There has been an almighty and collective effort to keep him [Philip] and the Queen safe during the coronavirus crisis over the past 11 months but there was a significant shift in the mood when everyone started finding out the Duke wasn’t coming home any time soon.’
The timing of the couple’s interview was described as ‘unfortunate’ amid rumours about whether it might have to be pulled, though Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said it was out of the Sussexes’ hands.
‘This interview has been hyped significantly by CBS and the ball is very much in their court,’ he said, adding: ‘The transmission date is likely to be set in stone and I can’t imagine it being pulled.’
Royal experts urged Harry and Meghan to ask CBS to postpone the broadcast of their interview, with Richard Fitzwilliams calling a delay ‘appropriate’ while Robert Jobson told MailOnline: ‘The fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no holds barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless and supremely selfish.’
Philip, who turns 100 in June, spent 14 days at the hospital in Marylebone having initially been admitted for a ‘few days’ on February 16 as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell, making this his longest ever stay in hospital.
Buckingham Palace is bracing itself for ‘shocking’ revelations from Meghan and Harry’s tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview after teasers for the primetime special (pictured) were released
The Queen (pictured on Monday during a video call to the South Australian Governor and Premier) was reportedly ‘blindsided’ by the Sussexes’ decision to take part in the interview
Staff use umbrellas to shield someone getting into an ambulance outside the rear of the King Edward VII Hospital in London where the Duke of Edinburgh was admitted on the evening of Tuesday, February 16
Officers from the City of London Police outside St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, where the Duke of Edinburgh has been transferred for treatment for an infection and testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition
Sitting down with Meghan alone, Oprah asks her in the first teaser: ‘Were you silent or were you silenced?’
‘The Queen is not Don Corleone’: Royal experts accuse Oprah of suggesting Monarch is ‘some mafia boss who silenced Meghan’ and the Palace ‘should be worried’ after tell-all CBS interview is EXTENDED to two hours
Oprah Winfrey’s assertion that Meghan Markle may have been ‘silenced’ by the Crown is ‘ridiculous’ and unfairly paints the Queen as a mob boss like Don Corleone from The Godfather, royal experts told MailOnline today.
Buckingham Palace should also be ‘scared’ after it emerged that the Sussexes’ tell-all interview due for broadcast on Sunday night has been extended from 90 minutes to two hours at the 11th hour.
Oprah pushes Meghan Markle on whether she was ‘silenced’ by the Crown while Prince Harry claims he emigrated to LA with his family because he feared ‘history repeating itself’ after the death of his mother Princess Diana, a new trailer shows.
The Duke of Sussex also describes leaving the Royal Family as ‘unbelievably tough’ and Oprah claims the couple both say ‘some pretty shocking things’ in the bombshell interview that is expected to upset the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William when the show is broadcast on March 7.
Oprah promises viewers there will be ‘shocking’ revelations and ‘no subject off limits’ in the over produced teaser complete with dramatic music released online by CBS in the US overnight. In more bad news for the royals, who have already been warned to ‘hide behind their sofas’ on Sunday, the broadcaster also revealed the show has extended from 90 minutes to a two-hour special that will be watched by tens of millions of people worldwide.
Robert Jobson, a biographer of Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh, said the trailer was packed with ‘over the top, melodramatic nonsense’.
He said: ‘The Queen and the Royal Family are not the Corleone family of Windsor. There are no hit men or heavies going around silencing people. Meghan, whilst a working royal, was always protected by a team of Scotland Yard officers. Thankfully, she was never in danger physically and Harry knows that. Talk of being ‘silenced’ is just ridiculous. It suits a narrative, I suppose, but at what cost to the Queen, Prince Philip and the Royal Family and our reputation as a country’.
Yesterday, he was shielded from public view with a series of umbrellas held up as he made his way into a waiting ambulance at the rear of King Edward VII Hospital where he had been receiving treatment for an infection.
Philip – who was said to remain ‘comfortable’ – will continue to receive treatment for the infection at St Bartholomew’s in the City of London, where he is expected to remain ‘until at least the end of the week’.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh was today transferred from King Edward VII’s Hospital to St Bartholomew’s Hospital where doctors will continue to treat him for an infection, as well as undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition. The Duke remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’
Though Buckingham Palace is focussing on Philip’s recovery, aides are bracing for ‘shocking’ revelations from Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah after teasers for the primetime special were released yesterday.
The clips show the couple holding hands as Harry alludes to the death of his mother and tells how his biggest fear for his wife was ‘history repeating itself’. Harry also referred to Diana’s struggle with life in the public eye following her divorce from Prince Charles, as he revealed his marriage helped him through ‘unbelievably tough’ times.
Meghan, in a £2,500 dress, did not speak in the trailers but nodded knowingly when Miss Winfrey addressed the camera to say ‘nothing was off limits’ in the TV interview.
The chat show host, a guest at the Duke and Duchess’s 2018 wedding, also alluded to damning claims from Meghan that being part of the Royal Family was ‘unsurvivable’ before asking her: ‘Were you silent or were you silenced?’
Miss Winfrey revealed the couple had told her ‘some pretty shocking things’, which may ring alarm bells with palace officials.
The broadcast has been billed as the couple’s first major interview since quitting royal life and moving to the US. It is said to cover Meghan’s life as a member of the Royal Family, motherhood and why she and Harry decided to quit.
It comes after Buckingham Palace confirmed the couple would not be returning to royal duties and Harry would give up his honorary military titles.
The Queen was reportedly ‘blindsided’ by the Sussexes’ decision to take part in the interview and there are fears it could deepen tensions already felt between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the Royal Family.
Buckingham Palace did not comment yesterday. It is understood officials are reluctant to enter into a tit-for-tat exchange and do not see how a renewed war of words will go any way to patching up Harry’s fractured relationship with his family.
But the sensational teasers, coming after Harry telling chat show host James Corden of a ‘toxic atmoshphere’ created by the Press, are unlikely to allay palace fears that the couple are determined to settle scores.
CBS released two 30-second excerpts of Oprah With Meghan And Harry: A Primetime Special yesterday ahead of its broadcast in the US on Sunday.
It has been extended by half an hour, from 90 minutes to two hours, to allow CBS to rake in more money from advertising – a 30-second slot is reported to be costing $200,000, around £144,000. It will be aired in the UK on ITV1 at 8pm on Monday.
The clips start by showing the duchess and Miss Winfrey sitting opposite each other in a lush garden. Meghan, 39, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, can be seen placing her hand on her stomach. As dramatic music plays, Miss Winfrey asks Meghan if she was ‘silent or silenced’ – seemingly in reference to the Royal Family.
Prince Harry appears to fear that Meghan could suffer the same fate as his mother Princess Diana. Critics have hit back to defend any claim that the Queen (pictured last week) had failed to protect Harry or his wife, or any suggestion she ‘silenced’ her
Oprah Winfrey (pictured), a guest at the Duke and Duchess’s 2018 wedding, alluded to damning claims from Meghan that being part of the Royal Family was ‘unsurvivable’
Pregnant Meghan Markle cradles her baby bump in trailer for bombshell Oprah interview – but remains quiet as TV mogul probes her about ‘un-survivable’ royal life, and asks if she was ‘silenced’ by palace
Pregnant Meghan Markle proudly cradled her baby bump while showing off her growing stomach in a teaser trailer for her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey – her most high-profile appearance since she and Prince Harry revealed they are expecting their second child later this year.
The 39-year-old emphasized her blossoming baby bump in a $4,700 black Armani dress, which was belted above her stomach and featured floral embroidery over one shoulder. She paired the look with some simple heels from designer Aquazurra and wore a necklace from sustainable designer Pippa Small.
Meghan placed a hand on her bump while fielding questions from 67-year-old TV mogul Oprah – who asked her about her brief time as a royal, and her decision to quit palace life with her husband last year.
The TV host adds, ‘I just want to make it clear to everybody there is no subject which is off limits’ – to which Meghan is seen nodding.
As the camera pans out to show the two women seated in the garden around a table, Miss Winfrey asks: ‘Almost unsurvivable sounds like there was a breaking point?’ Again, Meghan’s answer is not given.
The clip then cuts to Harry, 36, in a grey suit and white shirt with no tie, as he says: ‘My biggest fear was history repeating itself.’ Harry and Meghan sit holding hands as Miss Winfrey says: ‘You have said some pretty shocking things here’.
In a second clip, also set to dramatic music, Harry compares his mother’s situation to the one he says he and Meghan found themselves in. As he speaks, a picture is shown of him with his mother when he was a little boy.
‘For me, I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us. But at least we have each other,’ he says.
It is understood that the interview was filmed at a friend’s home in Santa Barbara, California, and not at the Sussexes’ £11million mansion in nearby Montecito.
While royal fans are eagerly awaiting the Oprah interview, others were more critical of the couple’s decision to take part.
Robert Jobson, a biographer of Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh, said the trailer was packed with ‘over the top, melodramatic nonsense’ and ridiculed Meghan’s suggestion she had been ‘silenced’.
He said: ‘The Queen and the Royal Family are not the Corleone family of Windsor. There are no hitmen or heavies going around silencing people.
‘Meghan, whilst a working royal, was always protected by a team of Scotland Yard officers. Thankfully, she was never in danger physically and Harry knows that. Talk of being ‘silenced’ is just ridiculous. It suits a narrative, I suppose, but at what cost to the Queen, Prince Philip and the Royal Family and our reputation as a country?’
Royal experts and fans call on CBS to postpone broadcast of Oprah’s explosive two-hour Harry and Meghan interview out of respect for Prince Philip, 99, as he’s moved for specialist care at heart hospital
Prince Harry reveals his ‘biggest fear was history repeating itself’ in new teaser for bombshell sit down interview with Oprah, as calls grow for CBS to postpone its broadcast due to be postponed because of his grandfather’s ill health
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are today being urged to ask CBS to postpone the broadcast of their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey this weekend as his 99-year-old grandfather battles an infection and heart problems in hospital.
The Duke of Edinburgh was moved to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London for ‘testing and observation’ this morning following a two-week stay at the private King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone, Buckingham Palace has said.
Prince Philip was shielded from public view as he was helped into a waiting ambulance because of ‘a pre-existing heart condition’ hours after a trailer of the Sussexes’ tell-all interview with their friend Oprah, which will be shown in the US at 8pm on Sunday night.
With Philip set to be in hospital for the rest of the week at least, royal experts and fans have suggested that Harry should step in and ask for a postponement ‘out of respect’.
Commentator Richard Fitzwilliams, who was editor of International Who’s Who for 25 years, told MailOnline: ‘In the circumstances it would surely be appropriate to postpone the interview which Harry and Meghan are giving to Oprah, which is due to be aired on Sunday, as it involves an examination of the problems they faced when working royals.
‘Oprah is their friend and neighbour and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be’.
But royal biographer Robert Jobson said: ‘With the Duke of Edinburgh clearly very unwell, the fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no holds barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless and supremely selfish.
‘For US broadcast network CBS this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview. So even if they wanted to Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested. I can’t see them having the clout to pull it’.
He added: ‘This is the problem when royals swap big bucks for duty and sign up to big paying commercial contracts. They lose the power to dictate terms’.